Ketamine’s Legal Status

You may have heard the term ketamine thrown around lately and want to know what it is precisely and learn more about it. It may be especially intriguing to you if you or a loved one suffers from addiction or a mental health condition such as depression.

Here you can learn all about what ketamine is, its legal status, and what treatments are legal and available. There are several uses for it, and it’s essential to understand the benefits and risks as well as the legal status and what can occur if used illegally for the best results.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine has been around since the 1970s. It’s a short-acting general anesthetic and has a variety of medical uses today. It originally was used for pain management and sedation in the US during the Vietnam War. Due to its dissociative effects, it’s also a popular recreational drug. You may have heard it by the name of Special K, Vitamin K, or KitKat which are some slang terms it goes by.

While there’s still a lot to learn about it yet, most recently many have become interested in researching and diving further into how it might benefit and treat certain mental health conditions. However, there remains much to learn about its long-term effects and how it works, and the right dosage amounts.

If ketamine is legal or not is both a standard and valid question, many people have today. If used by registered practitioners, then, yes, it is considered legal. It’s used in surgical procedures and more and more in treating and relieving anxiety and depression symptoms. This drug is legal for medical use in the US and some countries worldwide. However, its use is regulated, meaning only licensed clinicians can administer and prescribe it. It is currently illegal and unregulated for recreational use.

Ketamine’s FDA & DEA Scheduling

Right now ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic. Ever since 1970, it has been approved by the FDA for medical use as an anesthetic. Under DEA guidelines, ketamine is listed as a Schedule III currently. As a Schedule III drug, ketamine has been deemed to have useful medical applications and is legal when administered by a licensed provider to treat a specific condition. What this means is that generally speaking it has been accepted as having many benefits and value for particular purposes. However, a licensed provider must administer it so that it’s distributed effectively.

“Off-label” prescriptions are when a medicine is used to treat a different condition outside of its original medicinal intent. Yes, it is available for “off-label” prescription if administered by a licensed clinician. A common line of thinking with “off-label” is that something is untrustworthy or illegal. However, this isn’t always the case. The labeled use is for general anesthetic in surgeries. The reason it is considered “off-label” and a legal treatment is that it is being used to treat something other than the original intended use. What research is showing is that it can be highly effective in treating treatment-resistant depression and anxiety as well as chronic pain and PTSD.

A few of the legal applications of ketamine are ketamine for general anesthesia and ketamine for mental health conditions. Originally, it was used for general anesthetic in surgical and medical procedures. Emergency rooms and surgeons continue to use it today to help induce sedation and manage pain. It’s essential that the right dose is used and a trained health professional is involved in the process of administering it.

As far as mental health conditions go, there is evidence showing that it can provide benefits for depression and anxiety symptoms if prescribed in a clinical or therapeutic setting in lower doses. There are other mental health conditions it may be suitable for as well. What it does is help the brain cells form new connections which enhance neuroplasticity. It often requires shorter courses of treatment with longer-lasting results than antidepressants.

Suppose someone has been known to resist other possible treatments for anxiety and depression or is actively suffering from these symptoms. In that case, legal ketamine-assisted therapy might be a good option. It entails using ketamine to help those struggling to find relief from their mental health symptoms by safely exploring painful memories and emotions. These sessions are prescribed and monitored by a licensed clinician and can potentially ignite noteworthy and remarkable advancements in the mental health status of a patient. It’s not only a safe and legal treatment, but it is a well-tolerated and effective one.

If and when used outside of a clinically-prescribed setting, then ketamine is illegal. It’s a well-known fact that some illicitly use it. Unsupervised and recreationally in high doses can cause increased heart rate, dizziness, and nausea, to name a few side effects. In some cases, there may be severe reactions if not used properly. Therefore, if you’re interested in using it, then you must do so under medical supervision. Today, it is illegal in the US without a prescription.

In Summary & Where to Get Help

If used in a medical setting and supervised for the correct dosage, then ketamine is safe, well-tolerated, and practical. It can benefit the patient in many ways and relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of depression and anxiety. Ketamine therapy is an excellent option for anyone suffering from these symptoms and has tried other treatments that haven’t worked well.

Peaks Recovery offers help for you or a loved one if you or they are suffering from addiction or require mental health treatment. Our team helps clients with the recovery process and has the tools, knowledge, resources, and expertise to ensure the individual gets the help they need. Are you or a loved one ready to take the next step toward recovery? Reach out to Peaks Recovery today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Medical Disclaimer: Peaks Recovery Centers uses fact-based content about recovery treatment, addiction medicine, and behavioral health conditions to improve the quality of life for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction or mental health disorders. This information is not intended to replace professional medical guidance, diagnosis, care, or treatment. This information should not be used as a substitute for advice from a qualified healthcare provider and/or your physician.